McBone would like to congratulate the Tribe, the 2007 American League Central Division champions! The award is the club's 7th since 1995 and the first since 2001.
A long road lay behind manager Eric Wedge's squad, which suffered through a final-week meltdown to miss the postseason in 2005, followed by a lackluster 2006 campaign (the result of the catastrophic trade of Coco Crisp to Boston prior to the season) that had many fans screaming for Wedge's dismissal. This year it was a combination of great starting pitching, a lights-out bullpen and timely (to be generous) hitting that assured northern Ohio at least a few games of October baseball.
Credit general manager Mark Shapiro for putting the team together, and Wedge for maintaining great chemistry all season long. Even during a dismal August the Tribe were able to stay afloat before mounting a rally that left rival Detroit eating dust.
Let's hope that the Indians tear through the other AL qualifiers and capture the team's sixth pennant. Go Tribe!
PS. Coming soon: 2007 playoff preview.